Soundtracks, by Jon Acuff, a Review

Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking, by Jon Acuff, is enjoyable, motivating, and perfect for overthinkers. This is a book your internal monologue needs to hear!

My name is Bret Hammond, and I am an overthinker.

(This is the part where you say, “Hi, Bret.”)

I am an overthinker. This is very true; my thoughts are loud and are not always helpful or kind. I’ve not exactly been a big believer in motivational writings and speeches. I find a lot of them to be kind of hokey. However, I love Jon Acuff’s work and have always found him both inspirational and relatable.

Soundtracks, by Jon Acuff

Jon calls the interior thoughts that we’re always listening to “Soundtracks.” As with a movie, the soundtrack sets the tone and the mood for your life. If your soundtrack is always telling you “I’m not good enough” and “I’m going to fail,” then you’ve got to find a way to change the soundtrack—turn it off or turn it down. You cannot allow your overthinking to control what you don’t do.

Soundtracks: Sound Advice

You can turn overthinking into action. You can use all that reclaimed time, creativity, and productivity to create the life you want. And it starts with recognizing your thoughts for what they really are—a personal soundtrack for your life.

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I stumbled across Soundtracks, Jon’s newest release, last week and immediately thought, “I don’t have time for that!” I had a paper due for class and was already feeling the pressure of a busy week. My personal soundtrack told me there’s no way I could commit to reading another book right now. But I pushed all that aside, grabbed the audiobook from Audible (read by the author. That’s always a plus!), and listened to it on a drive to Walmart. After listening to the first chapter, I bought the Kindle version and devoured it. This is a book you don’t have time to not read.

Not to read . . . to read not?

Just read the book!

Motivational stuff still drives me nuts. Talk of the power of positive thinking and “daily affirmations” grate on my inner cynic and evoke memories of Stuart Smalley.

So, imagine my surprise that I’m now reciting Jon’s “New Anthem” twice a day (it’s taped to the bathroom mirror with instructions for my wife to not make fun of me) and listening to The Ultimate Zig Ziglar Library on Audible. It’s not that I’m convinced this helps (yet); it’s just that Jon showed me it’s not a waste of my time.

He even made me listen to Yanni, but let’s not go there now.

Broken soundtracks never evolve into new soundtracks on their own. That process is on us. We’re in charge of retiring the old ones and replacing them with brand-new ones

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Soundtracks: Sound Research

Jon backs up his advice in Soundtracks with actual research done by real PhDs and truly helpful people. These aren’t just sappy sayings and shallow advice on how “you can do it!” There’s real science and evidence of tangible results here.

And, above all, Jon invites us to join him on his own journey of turning down the Soundtracks in his own head. He confesses his struggle with overthinking and how it has held him back. I think that’s what I loved most about this book. It wasn’t from the perspective of someone who has it all together and figured this out long ago. The wounds of Jon’s overthinking are still fresh, and yet you can see how healing has taken place. That gives me hope for myself—and for you!

Overthinking is when what you think gets in the way of what you want. It’s one of the most expensive things in the world because it wastes time, creativity, and productivity. It’s an epidemic of inaction, a tsunami of stuckness, and thirteen years ago it was dominating me.

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Soundtracks: Turn Down Your Overthinking

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Jon is hilarious. I’ve read several of his books (and bought even more of them!) and had the pleasure of hearing him in person a few times. He’s as engaging on the page as he is in person. If you’re into audiobooks, I’d definitely recommend this one. Not only do you get to hear it from the author’s voice, but he throws in a few extras that aren’t there in print. Get that Audible membership, and then convince yourself the book is free. You’re already lying to yourself about what a failure you are, right? One more lie can’t hurt!

Finally, my advice is that you don’t just commit to reading Soundtracks; commit to doing it. Tape the New Anthem on your bathroom mirror (no, you can’t come over and use mine), write your affirmations, find your symbol, and take steps to turn down your soundtrack. You’re going to want to feel the impact of this book long after you’ve finished the read.

You might even find yourself listening to Yanni.